NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.K. Asks United States to End Haggis Ban

July 7, 2014

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the United Kingdom's Environment Secretary Owen Paterson met last week to discuss trade policy. The BBC reports that Paterson had planned to ask the United States to overturn its import ban on haggis, though it is not clear how the meeting went.

Imports of haggis, a traditional Scottish dish, have been outlawed in the United States since 1971, because the United States outlaws the use of sheep lungs in food products. The haggis market is worth 15 million pounds in the United Kingdom alone, and Scottish producers believe there is a market in the United States for the dish. According to Scottish Food Secretary Richard Lochhead, "With almost nine million Americans claiming Scots ancestry, there is clearly an appetite in the US for haggis made to traditional recipes."

The United Kingdom was hopeful that the ban could be lifted as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an E.U.-U.S. trade agreement that is currently being negotiated. According to the BBC, Paterson was also seeking an end to the United States' ban on Scottish lamb, which has been in place since 1989.

The United States has agreed to allow imports of Scotch beef for the first time in two decades.

Source: "UK government bids to overturn US haggis ban," BBC, June 29, 2014; Zenon Evans, "U.K. to U.S.: End the Haggis Ban," Reason, July 1, 2014.


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